Much has been made of the film's release a few weeks after the passage of Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage in California. Although the story of a gay activist fighting oppression seems remarkably good timing, its relation to an even larger national story is also worth noting. Milk was a community organizer who spoke powerfully on the campaign trail about the importance of hope. Sound familiar?
The timing seemed perhaps a little too fortuitous, according to executive producer Michael London. The filmmakers hadn't noticed the parallels in the script, but watching the film for the first time, "it just jumped out at everyone," he says. " 'Oh, my God, he's got the same language as Obama.' " The story was so resonant that it almost felt uncomfortable, "as if we must have been trying to make a conscious connection," he adds. Uneasy with the idea of releasing the film during the presidential campaign, they settled on a post-election opening date.